Film Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron
22nd April 2015
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★★☆☆☆ It may only be April, but the release of something this colossal generally signifies the start of the summer blockbuster season. For the sake of large-budget Hollywood cinema, I hope it doesn’t represent the best it has to offer. Marvel’s Avengers have once again assembled and the result is shaky, muddled, yawn-inducing and rather obnoxiously smug. The action is, at times, suitably epic, but the movie feels like a catalogue of set-pieces, like a vanity-reel shown at a fan convention. In between these set-pieces we get the now inevitable and ever more tiresome Superhero-banter (I mean banter here as the jokey exchange of teasing remarks rather than anything similar to the disturbing Dapper Laughs variety). The whole thing feels very unstable. Superhero films – particularly, of late, those from the Marvel stable – have always had the challenge of catering for a mass market of non-graphic novel/comic book readers whilst also trying not to patronise and overly simplify content for the die-hard fans. It’s a difficult juggling act for writers and directors to perform, one that may not be very conducive to producing great material. I’m not saying all superhero films are pre-destined to be narratively troubled (there is a handful – such as Captain America: The First Avenger and both Thor movies who handle this superbly). However, when you have so many key characters, so much back-story and mythology and hints at things to come, it is hardly surprising it starts to chafe against its own handicaps.
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